A health impact assessment is an informational tool designed to help decision-makers consider the health implications of proposed policies, especially those that don’t appear to have direct connections to health.
The Kansas Health Institute recently completed its first health impact assessment, which examined the potential health effects associated with casino development in Southeast Kansas. This new report features findings of the health impact assessment and outlines recommendations to maximize the positive health benefits of a proposed casino and mitigate its potential negative effects on health.
Among the Key HIA Findings:
- Potential positive health effects of casino development are primarily related to creation of casino jobs as well as other leisure and hospitality sector jobs, which provide tangible benefits, such as income and insurance, and intangible benefits, such as sense of meaning. Employment, insurance and income have strong, positive links to health.
- Potential negative health impacts primarily would result from increased access to gambling. In particular, the number of pathological and problem gamblers could increase. Adverse health consequences of pathological gambling include nicotine dependence, substance use, depression and insomnia. Additionally, pathological gambling has been associated with higher rates of child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, unsafe sex and divorce.
Because one of the project goals was to introduce Kansas policymakers to the field of health impact assessments, KHI also produced an issue brief explaining how policymakers can use health impact assessments to bring health into the state and local decision-making processes.
KHI plans several other health impact assessments in the coming months on new topics, including a public transit proposal in Wichita.
This HIA was funded by a grant from the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Health Impact Project, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation or The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Access Kansas HIA Report in the Documents & Downloads section.